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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 11-17-2014, 04:48 PM
chuck550 chuck550 is offline
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Battery discharging

I started my 2011 550x this morning and got a warning message of battery discharging error. Anyone know what that is?
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2014, 05:02 PM
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north of 60 north of 60 is offline
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Battery discharging

Mine has done that many times , both the E-90 and the F-10 -

Too many short trips , too much idling with lots of stuff running -

The E-90 and F-10 had/have dealer installed battery chargers - plug it in overnight and charge the battery -

I always keep mine plugged in overnight during the winter -

In order to keep your battery full charged the car must be run at least 20 minutes at highway speeds daily or plugged in overnight .

Last edited by north of 60; 11-17-2014 at 05:07 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2014, 06:16 PM
550newbie 550newbie is offline
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Wow, I just went through the same thing with my 2011 550i. Sometimes the message would go away, other times it was there every time I started the car. I tried the charging routine, as it gave me an excuse to purchase a new battery charger (Schumacher SSC-1500A-CA Ship 'N' Shore 15 Amp SpeedCharge Charger ). That seemed to help, but the message would still appear occasionally when I left work, etc.

I tested the output of my car's electrical system by using a digital meter. It read 14.4v with the AC and headlights on (at idle), so I felt confident it was a "battery" problem. An independent mechanic replaced the battery (we have AGM-type units) for ~$420. The dealer quoted me in the $440-$590 range, depending on the battery I selected. All the prices included re-coding the car...so the car's electronics are matched with the new battery. For the record, none of my custom coding was lost (folding mirrors on locking, open/close trunk operation from any button, etc.). If I recall, I paid the indy $290 for the battery and the rest in labor.

Long story made short: sounds like you need a new battery, too.
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2014, 08:18 PM
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Chuck W. Chuck W. is offline
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This has been discussed in the past in detail. Here is the thread; http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...hlight=battery
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2014, 05:12 PM
abailey108 abailey108 is offline
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I started getting this message today in my 2011 550i for the first time. Coincidentally, it comes after my first week of parking in garage and never locking the car at night. I read that leaving it unlocked can prevent it from going to complete power save mode, since it constantly looks for the key. I don't have comfort access but obviously have the push to start. I'm going to start locking it all the time in the garage now and give it a few days and see if I still get it.
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2014, 05:51 PM
pal joey pal joey is offline
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they put so much into these cars the battery cant support it.
bmw suggests you drive around in circles a couple of times a week, or plug it in.
to me neither is acceptable, nor should it be to anyone else.
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2014, 07:53 PM
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north of 60 north of 60 is offline
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Women , Jobs , Clients , Customers , Employees , everyone I deal with is a series of compromises -

I can and do tolerate a lot -

Getting in that BMW and driving in circles is not an issue with me !

Driving down the coast to charge the battery is fun . Click image for larger version

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  #8  
Old 11-18-2014, 07:55 PM
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north of 60 north of 60 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pal joey View Post
they put so much into these cars the battery cant support it.

bmw suggests you drive around in circles a couple of times a week, or plug it in.

to me neither is acceptable, nor should it be to anyone else.

Women , Jobs , Clients , Customers , Employees , everyone I deal with is a series of compromises -



I can and do tolerate a lot -



Getting in that BMW and driving in circles is not an issue with me !



Driving down the coast to charge the battery is fun . Click image for larger version

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ID:	476819
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  #9  
Old 11-19-2014, 07:36 AM
550newbie 550newbie is offline
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I attempted to resolve the issue over about ten days. Battery charger, driving more, blah, blah, blah.

It didn't seem too unreasonable that my 3.5 year old car needed a battery. It is interesting that two people in this thread have 2011 550 vehicles, just like mine and are experiencing the same problem. Hate to tell you guys...***** a new battery.
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  #10  
Old 11-19-2014, 06:10 PM
abailey108 abailey108 is offline
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After locking my car at night and driving like I normally do, the battery issue is gone for now. We'll see if it stays that way.
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  #11  
Old 11-19-2014, 07:31 PM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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There is a very good chance that your car does not need a new battery. The cold weather has many consequences for your battery and charging system - having nothing to do with short trips or higher power drain (although these things are aggravating factors). Some of the issues and suspected issues are:

1. Fact: The battery requires a higher charge voltage when it is cold.
2. Fact: The charging system does not climb high enough in voltage at low temperatures to charge properly when the battery is cold soaked at a very low temperature. I know this because I measured it under cold (10F and lower) when on the road, with a voltmeter at the battery posts.
3. Fact: The low battery warning system is not properly compensated for accurate warnings at low battery temperatures. It is set to be too conservative.

Some observations that I've made concerning all this:

1. You rarely hear of someone complaining of a low battery warning if they garage their car overnight, or during the day, in a garage above the outside temperature - no matter how short their trips are. the battery never gets that cold.
2. I have gotten low warnings when shutting down after a 30 minute drive at 50MPH when it was cold. That warning was of course, bull.
3. After a low warning, I put the battery on an overnight charge from a battery tender that puts out 1.5 Amps. 1.5 Amps x 8 hours is 12AH of charge. Somehow (by magic) that little charger was able to charge up my 90AH battery and go to float charge over night. This would never ever get that far if the battery were really low.

Unfortunately, your car's system will insist that it's low even when it's really not and deprive you of various electrical goodies. The only remedy is to use a battery tender to top off the battery and satisfy your system. but the bottom line is that in most (but not all) cases, your battery is just fine. Thus, you can choose to ignore it, or use a tender to top off the battery and make your cars warning system happy, or park in a warm location. Last year, I got distracted and did not finish the design of a battery warmer that used a combination of thermal insulation and a warming pad to use some of the battery's own energy to keep the temperature above 30F. Now, I regret that I didn't follow through. If i get fed up enough this year, I will complete the project and publish here. We'll see...

Oh yes... one more thing: The person that knows the least about your battery and your charging system is your dealer.
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Last edited by Quacker; 11-19-2014 at 07:37 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-19-2014, 08:39 PM
CGP CGP is offline
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You likely need a new battery. Mine lasted 3 years.
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2014, 11:00 AM
tularockstar tularockstar is offline
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Just had mine replaced by a dealer last month. It cost me almost $500, as the car has just passed the 4-year warrant mark. Mine lasted just about 3 years, which I was told it was pretty good for living in AZ. If you're going to replace your own battery, make sure you know how to initialize the new one after install.

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You likely need a new battery. Mine lasted 3 years.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2014, 11:20 AM
surly surly is offline
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It is vitally important to differentiate between two very similar error messages:

- a battery discharging warning

- a battery discharged / low battery / charge battery warning


#1 indicates that the car has determined that it's sleep current is too high. Something is malfunctioning and drawing too much current when the car is supposed to be sleeping. In order to prevent battery drain (and inability to start the car) it will start to turn circuits off. This error DOES NOT come up because you haven't driven the car enough, or only on short trips, or because it's cold out.

#2 indicates that your battery's state of charge (or ability to stay charged) is low. This could mean you need a new battery, or your charging system is weak, or your driving habits and accessory usage are not well suited to keeping the battery charged sufficiently. This error CAN come up because you haven't driven the car enough, or only on short trips, or because it's cold out, or because you need a new battery. Efficient Dynamics makes this worse.

Last edited by surly; 11-20-2014 at 11:24 AM.
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  #15  
Old 11-21-2014, 10:46 PM
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grizzles grizzles is offline
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Can I code it to be less sensitive?
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  #16  
Old 11-22-2014, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by north of 60 View Post
Women , Jobs , Clients , Customers , Employees , everyone I deal with is a series of compromises -

I can and do tolerate a lot -
Ain't that the truth! I think you just coined a new "truism".
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  #17  
Old 11-22-2014, 09:35 AM
chuck550 chuck550 is offline
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I took my car to dealership and they said they can't replace battery because I had too many devices on while car was stopped. I think it's BS! I purchased my car in July...it's a certified used and I'm sure this most likely occurred at the dealership where I purchased the vehicle. When I test drove the car I played with it when engine was turned off.
I asked SA when this occurred but they couldn't specify when it occurred. I'm frustrated because the problem is back after they charged the battery.
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  #18  
Old 11-22-2014, 10:42 AM
chsu74 chsu74 is offline
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I had the same problem after hooking the car up to a battery tender.

Dealer found IBS sensor faulty with diagcode D6137 00000000 01 009 fault code 215701. Replaced faulty IBS cable Part# 61-21-9-302-358.

Hope this helps
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  #19  
Old 11-22-2014, 04:19 PM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck550 View Post
I took my car to dealership and they said they can't replace battery because I had too many devices on while car was stopped. I think it's BS! I purchased my car in July...it's a certified used and I'm sure this most likely occurred at the dealership where I purchased the vehicle. When I test drove the car I played with it when engine was turned off.
I asked SA when this occurred but they couldn't specify when it occurred. I'm frustrated because the problem is back after they charged the battery.
It is BS Chuck. The dealer can't tell you when it occurred and what devices those were, because it never happened. Make them show you your computer readout and if they can't, call them the liars that they are.

BTW - where are you geographically? Has it been very cold and was your car parked out in the cold for several hours?
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Old 11-22-2014, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quacker View Post
It is BS Chuck. The dealer can't tell you when it occurred and what devices those were, because it never happened. Make them show you your computer readout and if they can't, call them the liars that they are.

BTW - where are you geographically? Has it been very cold and was your car parked out in the cold for several hours?
Um, OK. I have a new '14 now , and I never had a true issue with the battery in my '11. However, one time when I took it in for service, there was some diagnostic they had read that there had been some drain on the battery when the car was off. So, they might not be able to tell you what was "on" without further diagnosis, but it appears they can detect an abnormal drain in general.
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  #21  
Old 11-22-2014, 05:23 PM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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The same thing happened to me. I reported a 'battery low' indication to my dealer and they told me that my computer said something was left on with the car off. I knew that it wasn't true and told them so. Then I demanded to see the computer readout. They couldn't produce it, so I told them that as far as I was concerned, it never happened. I then I told them never to accuse me of being at fault again without proof in hand. They backed down.

Anybody that spends any time on these forums reads plenty about dealers casually lying to customers. I don't do business with liars and now my dealer clearly understands my position. If on that basis, they don't want to sell me another car, then fine.
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Last edited by Quacker; 11-22-2014 at 05:25 PM.
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  #22  
Old 11-22-2014, 05:54 PM
chuck550 chuck550 is offline
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I'm in Chicago and yes it was 10 degrees and the car was left outside
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:20 PM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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As I said in my earlier posts in this thread, this car improperly reports that the battery is low, at low temperatures. I know this to be true. The reasons are as follows:

After finishing a 30 min drive at 50 MPH in 5 degree F temperatures (after the car was cold soaked all day outside my office), upon turning the car off, it immediately reported a low battery. WTF?

After getting a low battery indication, I put the car on an overnight battery tender capable of 1.5A of charge current. In the morning, the tender was already on "float" meaning that the battery was fully charged. 1.5A x 8 hours is only 12 amp/hours of charge. This is hardly enough to fully charge an enormous battery like ours, if it was actually low to begin with.

As I said, the dealer blamed me. Little did he know that I am an EE specializing in battery management systems. However, he soon found out.
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Last edited by Quacker; 11-22-2014 at 06:22 PM.
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  #24  
Old 11-22-2014, 06:30 PM
chuck550 chuck550 is offline
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Where can I get a battery tender?
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  #25  
Old 11-22-2014, 06:33 PM
Quacker Quacker is offline
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This is the one that I used. Many others on this forum use it too. It can be found all over the net. It appears to be the design that has been relabeled for sale by BMW themselves:

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender...r+plus+charger
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